Posted by Matt on Thursday, April 26, 2012.

A new perspective on hotel sustainability

We have released the results of our latest research, focused on assessing the efficiency of 46,000 individual US hotels. The report, Hotel Carbon & Energy Efficiency, presents efficiency rankings for 75 of the largest hotel chains, examines key drivers of efficiency, and analyzes industry trends.

Average hotel emissions intensity by state

The analysis was performed using our CM1-based hotel impact model to estimate footprints for each individual hotel property, based on building characteristics data from the Northstar Travel Media hotels database. The model uses factors like a hotel’s location, size, number of floors, climate, construction date, and amenities like fridges and pools to predict energy use and carbon emissions using fuzzy set analysis that references the US EIA’s Commercial Buildings Energy Consumption Survey.

A few key findings include:

  • Hotel impact per room-night varies more than tenfold across the lodging industry. The most efficient quarter of hotels use just 7% of the industry’s energy, while the dirtiest quarter consume more than 50%.

  • Footprint reduction opportunities exist for hotel customers at every price point. Major footprint variation exists within service classes and even between hotels of the same chain in the same city, making it possible for most travelers to reduce their impact without increasing cost or limiting travel.

  • Hotels are growing less and less efficient. Energy and emissions per room-night have doubled over the past 50 years, driven by increasing area per room, increasing amenities, and increasing reliance on dirty fuels.

  • Hotel chains vary enormously in their impacts. Our analysis ranked Vagabond Inns as the most efficient among 75 of the largest hotel chains, while JW Marriott had the greatest estimated impact per room-night.

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Safety in Numbers is Brighter Planet's blog about climate science, Ruby, Rails, data, transparency, and, well, us.

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We're Brighter Planet, the world's leading computational sustainability platform.

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  1. Patti Prairie CEO